- The article claimed that a dog suffering from cancer died during the production of "Our Idiot Brother." Sadly, a dog did take ill and was indeed diagnosed with cancer, but the illness was not work-related and was not due to any activity related to production.
- The article suggested that a horse died during post-production after being filmed for "War Horse." What it does not say however is that AHA's jurisdiction does not extend to post-production and transit. In fact, the horse mentioned finished its work and was checked out of production. In transit home, according to a veterinarian, it died of natural causes.
- The article seemed to lay blame for 27 animal deaths during "The Hobbit" when in fact the animals were not under AHA's jurisdiction or authority in any way. We only monitor animals when they are on the set. When we heard reports months afterwards that animals might have died on a working farm there, we voluntarily sent representatives out to the farm to inspect it and make safety recommendations, which were instituted by production at considerable cost, ensuring better welfare for all the animals on the farm. We were transparent with all the details and our outrage over the regrettable loss of life. Here is our official public statement we made at the time for the record: http://www.americanhumane.org/about-us/newsroom/news-releases/aha-the-hobbit-animal-deaths.html
1) The creation of a Scientific Advisory Committee, composed of global experts in animal welfare, who are right now reviewing our comprehensive and science-based "Guidelines for the Safe Use of Animals in Filmed Media" – the bible of the industry – to make sure we are doing everything possible to protect animal actors and include the newest findings and research on animal welfare 2) We have brought on Dr. Kwane Stewart, a respected veterinarian, to head the program and bring a new level of rigor and science to our mission and passion to protect the animals in our care 3) As part of our efforts to further improve safety, we recently posted positions to hire licensed veterinarians to serve as our Certified Safety Representatives, and place them in geographic areas across the country where high volumes of filmmaking occurs, including Texas, New Mexico, New York, and Louisiana. We are top-tiering our staff to bring an even higher level of expertise to our important work, and basing our safety reps closer to sets, which will help keep down travel and housing costs for the charity 4) Earlier this year, we implemented a policy that if any animal is seriously injured or dies on set to commission an independent, third-party investigation to find out what happened so that we may prevent as much as is possible such incidents in the futureAmerican Humane Association has made tough changes to ensure that the No Animals Were Harmed® program is structured to meet the humane charter with which we have been entrusted. It's all about the animal actors and ensuring their safety. Abuse in film and entertainment is not pervasive, as the salacious headlines imply; rather our experience is that most everyone we work with in production settings want to do right by the animals, as do we. We are extremely proud of the work American Humane Association has done for more than 70 years to protect millions of animals on movie and television production sets. We are a mission-driven small nonprofit that has not only worked to protect animals working in film and entertainment across the country and around the globe, we have done so by utilizing millions of dollars of our own funds so that the certified animal safety representatives could be on more than 2,000 sets a year, making sure that some 100,000 of our most beloved animal co-stars are treated humanely and kept safe each and every year.